The concept of active learning has been advertised for a long time now. Although we can say that many of the educators from younger generations have an idea of the term, it looks like there are still problems in the application.
Is it possible to know something without knowing it?
The answer for this tricky question is yes. One can call it intuition, gut feeling or the sixth sense. Here I am trying to talk about something else. So many times we think we know a concept well, we talk around it a lot but in reality we are not sure about it.
Famous Physicist Richard Feynman suggested a method to test if you really know something or you have an idea about it. It is called Feynman Technique. According to this technique, if you can teach a specific concept to a toddler, and then make a self reflection for the identifying the gaps in your teaching and review it to eliminate those gaps and finally achieve to teach it really simply, then you know that concept well.
How does active learning happen in class?
I, myself attended many workshops about active learning in class and gave some workshops to small groups at the school I’m working now. As I observed, many educators, especially above some certain age group, have difficulties to understand it. People have difficulties to reach to the “Eureka” moment. Or sometimes, it is the comfortable zone to the same thing you have been doing for the past 17 years.
For my belief, active learning is keeping students engaged and ensuring them dynamically participating in learning. Moreover students start discovering to learn by a self-motivation. The teacher will be successful to the extent he/she can achieve to maintain this.
So, educational terms and trends are everywhere these days. Hundreds of blog posts, books, expert views can be found easily. Even may be we are talking about them most of the time. Applying what we know is different. Likewise for the case of active learning one can ask many questions.
- Are we really maintaining student engagement in our classes?
- If yes, how often and to what extent?